Questions over sex change snag Arizona divorce case - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Questions over sex change snag Arizona divorce case

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Posted: Monday, December 31, 2012 3:08 pm | Updated: 11:57 am, Tue Jan 1, 2013.

An Arizona couple seeking a divorce hit an unusual snag that could prevent the marriage from legally being dissolved.

A judge is questioning whether a same-sex marriage ban bars him from ending the union — or even recognizing its validity — because the husband was born a woman and underwent a sex change but retained female reproductive organs and gave birth to three children.

Thomas and Nancy Beatie are eager to end their nine-year marriage. But their divorce plans stalled when Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach said in late June that he was unable to find any legal authority defining a man as someone who can give birth. Gerlach has questioned whether the union was a same-sex marriage.

The judge is expected to issue a decision in early February.

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